Impacts of bush fires reviewed at Tumbarumba

In Issue23, WoodTECH by FIEALeave a Comment

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Michael McCormack MP, NSW Member for Albury, Justin Clancy MP, Snowy Valleys Mayor, James Hayes and Deputy Mayor John Larter have all visited the Hyne Timber Tumbarumba Mill to further understand the impacts of the bushfires on the softwood industry.

Timber from the Tumbarumba Mill supplies 1 in 4 new homes across the NSW market and beyond, supporting all the local jobs along the way.  7500 harvested plantation pine logs are processed each day resulting in daily structural framing volumes which would stretch from Tumbarumba to Melbourne.

Hyne Timber CEO said the dignitaries visit was focussed on the short and long-term challenges ahead given over 50,000 hectares of pine plantation is fire impacted in NSW alone.  “While the full extent of fire impact and salvageability time frames remain unknown, what we do know is full recovery will take many years.

“Until plantations are re-established in 20 – 30 years’ time, interim solutions for viable log supply are required with the support of all levels of government.  “This includes prioritising all pine plantation for domestic processing over export, freight equalisation for Australian processors, and dedicated recovery coordination covering the short-term salvage and the longer-term issues of replanting and wood flow management.” Mr Kleinschmidt said.

Hyne Timber is Australian, privately owned and dates back to 1882, employing 630 people nationally, 230 of whom are at the Tumbarumba Mill.  “We remain committed to the long journey to recovery and value the ongoing, critical Government support as we work to find solutions to secure pine log supply through challenging times.” Mr Kleinschmidt concluded.

The dignitaries visit to the Mill included a tour of the new AU$3.7M investment in seven robots to stack timber into packs. This area previously had high vacancy rates and the highest risk of manual handling injuries. While the robots themselves came from Japan, most of the installation investment (over $3M) was awarded to Australian suppliers.

Six existing team members are being professionally developed to operate them while others who previously worked in this area are being professionally developed to work in other parts of the Mill.

Source & Photo: Hyne Timber

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